The Human Right to Water vs the Rights of Water?

Date/Time: 23 August 2022, 13:30-15:00
Venue: Kulturhuset and Zoom

This roundtable brings together researchers from two projects, both focusing on water rights, but from very different perspectives. Elevating water rights to human rights takes water as a fundamental human need as its point of departure and analyses the value of human rights protection for securing marginalised people’s access to adequate water resources. The Riverine Rights project on the other hand, focuses on rivers themselves and their rights. Both sets of water rights are increasingly protected by constitutions and courts across the globe. A discussion between the two projects – both comparative and cross regional – will bring out the intersections, complementarities, and tensions between the two approaches to water rights. 

This event marks the publication of the Special Issue Water and Sanitation as Human Rights: Have They Strengthened Marginalised Peoples’ Claim for Access?(Water 2021, Brinks, Singh and Wilson eds.) and Villarreal & Wilson’s book El agua como derecho humano: Reconocimientos y disputas en Costa Rica, and the recognition and disputes on water as a human right in Costa Rica will serve as a starting point for the discussion. 

Introductions Evelyn Villarreal (Center for Justice and International Law – CEJIL) and John-Andrew McNeish (Norwegian University of Life Sciences).
Participants: Arkaja Singh (Centre for Policy Research), Catalina Vallejo (UiB), and Jackie Dugard (Columbia University / Witwatersrand University)
Moderator: Bruce Wilson (University of Central Florida) 

Elevating water rights to human rights is a CMI/LawTransform project (RCN grant 2017-22). Riverine Rights is based at OsloMet (RCN grant 2020-23).